Throwback Thursday | When Dr. Sun Yat-sen Visited South Pasadena

PHOTO: Getty Images/California State Library | | Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1915)

South Pasadena resident Charles Beach Boothe code-named “Red Dragon,” in effect, was treasurer of a revolution raising over 9 million dollars for the cause. In 1910 he received official documents making him a secret agent to assist Dr. Sun Yat-sen in his efforts to overthrow the Qing Dynasty who reportedly spent several weeks at his residence in South Pasadena during this time. Boothe’s fellow American backers hoped to gain access to China’s many natural resources in return for their financial backing and political support.

PHOTO: Getty Images/California State Library | | Charles Beach Boothe residence, South Pasadena (1910)

President Sun Yat-sen played a vital role in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty in 1911 and was briefly named the first president of the Republic of China. He continued to struggle against the warlords that controlled much of China.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen is known today as the “father of modern China” and revered by both mainland China and Taiwan. His enduring legacy is the Three Principles of the People – nationalism, democracy, and the people’s livelihood/welfare.

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Throwback Thursday is written and produced by Rick Thomas

Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.